Getting Started with Excel Services and Excel Web Access - EPC Group


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Getting Started with Excel Services and Excel Web Access - EPC Group

  1. 1. Getting Started with Excel Services and Excel Web AccessApplies to: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010Excel Services makes possible for you to view and interact with Excel workbooks (.xlsx, xslb, and .xls) in thebrowser, even if you do not have Excel installed on your computer. If Excel is installed on your computer,you can use Excel Services to publish a workbook to a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 document library.Then, you can share workbooks across your enterprise, and control access by using SharePoint Server2010 permissions. Workbook data is secure, whether the data is stored with the workbook or comes froman external source such as a database. With Excel Services, you can maintain just one copy of animportant workbook, instead of trying to manage many copies on many different computers. You canmake sure that only trusted authors can change the workbook.If you want to use all or part of the workbook on a dashboard or other SharePoint page, you can connectthe workbook to an Excel Web Access Web Part. You can also customize the appearance and functionalityof the Excel Web Access Web Part by configuring properties such as the size of area in which to displaythe workbook, which options appear on the toolbar, and the kinds of interaction that are available to theuser (such as supplying input values for parameters and downloading). In addition, you can connect theExcel Web Access Web Part to other Web Parts, such as a Current User Web Part or a Filter Web Part.What is Excel Services?Excel Services is a part of SharePoint Server 2010 that extends Excel to an organization by using servertechnology. It lets a user access a workbook from the browser, while the server manages security andstorage for the workbook and does any calculations that might be required. Users can navigate or sortand filter data in the workbook in the browser.The workbook author can designate certain cells in the source workbook as parameters, which enablesusers to input values for run-time calculations. If the user’s computer has Excel installed and the user hasappropriate permissions, the user can capture and save a snapshot of the workbook in the browser, ordownload the workbook and work on it in Excel.Excel Services has three main components that work together to publish a workbook on a SharePoint site:
  2. 2. Excel Calculation Services is the "engine" of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. It loads theworkbook, calculates in full fidelity with Microsoft Excel 2010, refreshes external data, and maintainssessions. Excel Calculation Services performs calculations on the server; users cannot access functions andformulas directly. Excel Web Access is a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010Web Part. It can display all or part of anExcel workbook, and enables interaction with the workbook in a browser by using Dynamic HierarchicalTag Markup Language (DHTML) and JavaScript. Because Excel Web Access is a Web Part, you can add it toa SharePoint Web page, such as a team site or a dashboard, and then re-use on another page at any timewith no need to download an ActiveX control to your computer. In addition, you can connect the ExcelWeb Access Web Part to other Web Parts, such as filters, charts, and lists. Excel Web Services provides an application-programming interface (API) that developers can use tobuild custom applications based on the Excel workbook.Because Excel Services is a component of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, you can take advantage ofSharePoint technology features such as security and access management, server-based performancemanagement, and scalability.How do Excel Services and Excel work together?When Excel and Excel Services work together, Excel is the authoring tool and Excel Services is a reportingtool. That is, you create a workbook in Excel, and then publish the workbook to Excel Services (or upload©2009 Microsoft Corporation.
  3. 3. the workbook to a SharePoint Server 2010 document library). Then, from SharePoint Server 2010, you canopen the workbook in the browser or use the workbook in a Web Part. A workbook author uses Excel to create the workbook. The author can choose from many differentExcel features, such as tables or PivotTables, charts, and filters. In addition, the author can specify nameditems for selective viewing, or define parameters to accept user input from Excel Services. The workbook author saves the workbook to a document library (or to a network or Web folder),where it is managed and secured by a SharePoint administrator. The workbook author and other users can create reports, Web Part Pages, and Business Intelligencedashboards that use the workbook. Many business users can access the workbook by viewing it in a browser. If the author created externaldata connections, users can even refresh the data. Administrators can control security and access to theworkbook by using associated features in SharePoint Server 2010. With appropriate permissions, users can copy the current state of the workbook and the results of anyinteractions (such as sorting and filtering) that happened during the current session to a local computerfor further analysis in Excel.©2009 Microsoft Corporation.
  4. 4. Publishing a workbook to a SharePoint siteTo publish a workbook to SharePoint Server 2010, you must first create the workbook in Excel. You caninclude many Excel features such as tables, charts, and PivotTables. TIP Excel Services supports most Excel features, although it supports some in a slightly different way.Connecting to external dataAn Excel workbook might store all data with the workbook, or it might use data connections to accessexternally stored data. When you publish a workbook to Excel Services, data storage is similar, whetherthe workbook is stored in a document library, or used in a Excel Web Access Web Part. Some workbooksin Excel Services store all the data in the workbook, and other workbooks have one or more connectionsto external data sources, such as a database or OLAP cube.A data connection includes information about how to locate, log in, query, and access the external datasource. Although connection information can be stored in the workbook, often it is stored in an OfficeData Connection (.odc) file, especially when many users share the data and you might need to update theconnection information periodically. The workbook author or an administrator can create the connectioninformation by using Microsoft Excel to author the connection, and then export the connectioninformation to an .odc file.To make it easier to store, secure, share, and manage .odc files, an administrator can specify a SharePointServer 2010 Data Connection Library as a trusted location library (DCL). Then, an administrator canmanage any revisions to the connection information from a single central file, such as a change from atest server to a production server. A refresh operation, whether on the client or server computer, gets up-to-date changes to that connection file. You can even set up SharePoint Services and a users clientcomputer to detect changes to the connection file automatically.Excel Services and Information Rights ManagementInformation Rights Management (IRM) is a technology that protects information from unauthorizedaccess. IRM can provide protection for a document or workbook, and ensure only appropriate peopleview sensitive information. For example, you can use IRM to make sure that only select members of anexecutive committee can access certain financial data before the data becomes publicly available.Windows SharePoint Services Version 3.0 or later supports IRM on a document library and all thedocuments in that library (whether or not those individual documents are enabled with IRM). When youupload a document to a document library that is enabled with IRM, the document, in effect, becomesIRM-enabled.Excel Services will not load an Excel workbook that has been enabled with IRM or comes from a documentlibrary enabled with IRM.©2009 Microsoft Corporation.